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    Fermented Food for Beginners:

    IntroductionBY S H A N N O N ON J U L Y 1 7 , 2 0 0 9 1 7 C O M M E N T S IN N O U R I S H I N G F O O D

    our first batch of lacto-fermented pickles for the year

    In my journey to nourishing food eating more fermented foods was one of the last Nourishing Traditions

    principles we incorporated. It seems as though Im not alone because many Ive spoen with say the same

    thing. !hy is that"

    The truth is maing your own fermented foods is intimidating# taes a bit of effort and is pretty foreign to

    most of us. $nd if youd rather buy most fermented foods youd better be prepared to spend a pretty penny

    for that %convenience food.&

    Its a shame# really# because these foods contain friendly bacteria for your gut and many more nutrients th

    their un'fermented counterparts.

    In the past two years we have slowly wored up the courage to e(periment with lacto'fermented vegetable

    cultured dairy products and fermented beverages such as ombucha. I am by no means an e(pert# but my

    hope is that by sharing with you our journey and the ease with which we are now able to consume these

    health building foods that you may be inspired to tae the leap as well.

    !hat really helped me along in e(perimenting with different forms of fermented dairy as well as ombuch

    brewing were the starters and super helpful instructions that I ac)uired here. I had previously been given

    efir grains with no e(planation of how to use them or troubleshoot. It wasnt long before they went in the

    trash. !ith the wonderful step by step instructions and troubleshooting guide it made things very simple a

    we are now enjoying efir smoothies several times per wee.

    So, starting next week I will begin a three part series discussing cultured dairy, lacto-fermented

    vegetables and the fermented beverage kombucha.These parts will in no way be a thorough treatise of

    http://www.nourishingdays.com/author/shannon/http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/07/the-benefits-of-fermented-food-introduction/#commentshttp://www.nourishingdays.com/category/nourishing-food/http://www.nourishingdays.com/?page_id=1761#startershttp://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/07/the-benefits-of-fermented-food-introduction/#commentshttp://www.nourishingdays.com/category/nourishing-food/http://www.nourishingdays.com/?page_id=1761#startershttp://www.nourishingdays.com/author/shannon/
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    each topic. Instead we will loo at the health benefits of each# how we mae our own and how weve

    incorporated them into our diet.

    I hope youll join me ne(t wee to share what you now about fermented foods. *ee you then+

    Fermented Food for Beginners: ,airyBY S H A N N O N ON J U L Y 2 0 , 2 0 0 9 2 8 C O M M E N T S IN N O U R I S H I N G F O O D

    -ost of us have seen or eaten cultured or fermented dairy at some point. ogurt and sour cream are proba

    the most commonly consumed cultured dairy foods. Today we will loo at those and others that you can

    mae at home and incorporate into your daily diet.

    First of all lets discuss the benefits of fermenting dairy

    It contains friendly bacteria that are necessary for health. These bacteria help stave off candida

    overgrowth and improve digestion.

    It is better tolerated by those who might be sensitive to mil and cream.

    It improves the nutrient profile of the mil or cream.

    It e(tends the shelf life of mil or cream.

    *o# what are these cultured dairy products# how can we mae them at home and how can we introduce the

    into our daily diet" Ill share with you some tipsfrom my own limited nowledge/

    Yogurt

    $lmost all of us have had yogurt at one time or another. In fact I was pleasantly surprised to find out that

    how to mae yogurt in the croc pothas been one of my most popular posts. 0ne thing that I have learnedover the past few months is that you can mae raw yogurt without the use of a yogurt maer. I have a few

    different raw yogurt cultures that I hope to play with soon# but the basic method for raw milk yogurt go

    something like this

    In order to secure consistent results you must first mae a starter from the powdered culture and

    pasteuri1ed mil.

    2ombine said starter with raw mil and allow to culture in a warm place until thicened.

    http://www.nourishingdays.com/author/shannon/http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/07/the-benefits-of-fermented-food-dairy/#commentshttp://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/07/the-benefits-of-fermented-food-dairy/#commentshttp://www.nourishingdays.com/category/nourishing-food/http://www.nourishingdays.com/category/nourishing-food/http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/3463http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=912http://www.nourishingdays.com/author/shannon/http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/07/the-benefits-of-fermented-food-dairy/#commentshttp://www.nourishingdays.com/category/nourishing-food/http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/3463http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=912
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    *ave the pasteuri1ed culture for your ne(t batch and continue maing yogurt# preparing a new batc

    of starter when necessary.

    2hill in the refrigerator overnight for optimum consistency.

    ogurt can be eaten plain# with fruit and3or sweetener# used in smoothies# strained to mae a delicious gre

    yogurt or yogurt cheese and used in recipes lie my yogurt ranch dip.

    You can find powdered starters here, which is where I procured mine.

    Buttermilk

    Buttermil is something that is also familiar to most of us. It is thic and tangy and adds a lovely flavor to

    baed goods and ranch dressing. 4nlie the buttermil that comes from the maing of real butter# the

    buttermil you buy in the store is cultured. But again# you can mae it at home with raw mil. !he basic

    method for raw buttermilk goes something like this

    2reate and maintain a pure starter by using pasteuri1ed mil and the powdered culture.

    To mae buttermil combine 536 cup of raw mil with 736 cup of the pure starter# being sure to reta

    736 cup of the starter for your ne(t batch of pure starter.

    $llow to culture in a warm place for 78'79 hours.

    Buttermil can be used to add great te(ture and tang to baed goods# added to ranch dressing or even dran

    straight from the cup.

    You can find powdered starters here, which is where I procured mine.

    Kefir

    efir was fairly foreign and intimidating to me up until a couple of years ago. I tried maing some with

    grains from a friend# but without any instructions I failed and so did my efir. !ith detailed instructions I

    was aware that the first few batches may not %efir& and so I used only a cup of mil for those and was

    patient enough to eep trying until by the 5rd batch we had efir. *ince then we have had at least a pint of

    this jewel on hand at all times for smoothies.

    !he basic method for raw kefir goes something like this

    ou will receive efir grains ;gelatinous cottage'cheese lie lumps< along with a little bit of efir.

    ,ump both the grains and the efir into about a cup of raw mil.

    2over with cheesecloth or a cloth napin secured with a rubberband.

    =eave in a warm place for 78'86 hours.

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    our first few batches may not %efir thus leaving you with soured mil > which you can use for

    baing. ,ont be discouraged. *imply strain out the efir grains and start another batch.

    ou will now your mil has efired when it is thic ;wont run up the sides when tilted< and smel

    slightly yeasty.

    *train or fish out the grains# place them in a clean jar# start another batch of efir and refrigerate th

    old one.

    I have found that when I am pressed for time or am low on raw mil I can put the finished efir ;w

    grains< in the refrigerator for a day or two before starting a new batch.

    0ur favorite way to eat efir is in smoothies in combination with fruit. I have also read that you can drin

    plain or with a little vanilla and sweetener.

    You can find kefir grains here, which is where I procured mine.

    Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream

    If you have some e(tra cream sitting around you can mae creme fraiche using your homemade buttermil

    have yet to mae this myself since cream is at a high premium in our home# but I hope to one day if we

    happen to have e(tra. From what Ive read the basic method for making creme fraiche or sour cream

    goes something like this

    -i( about a cup of raw cream with appro(imately 7 teaspoon > 7 tablespoon buttermil.

    $llow to culture in a warm place until thicened.

    ?efrigerate.

    4se as a topping# a base for desserts and on everything else you can thin of because it will be so yummy

    and nutritious.

    @@@@@@

    *o that is what I now about cultured dairy. I found out that it is much more approachable than I thought a

    easy to continue to maintain. I am thanful to have found help with starters and detailed instructions in ord

    to tae that leap and feed my family more yummy# healthy and frugal foods.

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